Magic and shadows

Salve y'all,

I know the topic of shadows has been touched on before, but I haven't seen much about it except where folks are trying to circumvent the casting of shadows when invisible. I'm not particularly interested in that. I'm wondering what folks do when manipulating shadows, particularly as I introduce an antagonist who can do so.

The rulebook says "Note, that shadows are due to the physical body blocking the light. Destroying something's shadow is thus Creo Ignem or possibly Rego Ignem, not Perdo Imaginem." But does Imaginem modify the shape of a shadow? Or is this a Rego Ignem effect?

I want a baddie who can steal and manipulate shadows. I have toyed with the idea of altering Mythic Europe's physics such that the shadow is actually cast by one's soul, so that my villain can steal shadows and souls at the same time. Anyway, it's early days, but I'd welcome thoughts as to cool shadow effects.

Best regards,

Just on principles, with no real thoughts behind it, but how about either 2 or 3 seperate effects (or combine them with appropriate increase in level):

  1. Intelligo Ignem to understand and memorise the shadow cast by someone's shape.

  2. Creo Ignem to cast a kind of light "buffer" around a target, so that effectively they cant create shadows, you could make it duration moon, so the target may actually think they lost their shadow.

  3. Perdo Ignem to destory light in an area in the shape and size of the memorised shadow from (1) (above), make it a conc spell, so the shadow size and shape can realistically move under your command.

These are just rough ideas obviously no mechanics or anything worked out, I just liked the topic.


Cool idea. I'd just ignore those silly Aristotelian physics that are getting in your way. Just get around it with some hand-waving.

With soul-stealing, it seems like your baddie has some Infernal tricks up his sleeve. So I'd suggest drawing on the Augustine theological concept of Evil (Infernal) being the lack of Good (Divine). By analogy, the Shadow is the lack of Light. Your evil wizard has learned to connect the lack of light to the lack of goodness, thus "filling up" the lack with the appearance of existence - that's basically what demons are. So when he "wakes" a shadow, he is really summoning/creating a minor demon. When he steals such a shadow, the "lack" that fuels it is still connected to the character that created this lack originally. Since the lack has now taken the empty appearance of substance (a demonic form), however, it is already "accounted for" and thus the character now casts no shadows, and will cast none until the demonic-shadow is killed. Note that killing the character will also kill the demon, as there would no longer be an "individual" whose lack is the basis of the shadow. This could be a useful trick to dramatically self-sacrifice in order to kill the Big Bad Super-Shadow that is protecting the wizard or guarding the McGuffin or about to kill the PC's loved one or so on. The "lack" may also be mythically connected to the original character by sharing and amplifying her spiritual flaws (where she lacks spiritually) - perhaps by having Personality Traits reflecting the character's, or Obsession powers related to them, or so on.

Anyways, that's my 2c. Sounds like a great idea, have fun with it.


Guys, thanks for the ideas. They're great!

Yeah, I should have been more forthcoming with my "bad guy" ideas - specifically, I was looking for a non-wizard Infernal one (and I have to admit, I'm stealing some ideas from one of my friends from three sagas ago...) and I'm obviously not afraid to play fast and loose with the rules when a cool story is to be had. But I do want to do some thinking about the mechanics of the shadow effect/soul stealing/demon creation so that I can judge both Might and effects versus the Parma Magica, obviously. Any idea on effect levels, guys?


Shut up and take my money!
I want two :smiling_imp:

I can't see why you couldn't use Imaginem effects to create illusions that cover a shadow. The shadow would still be "there", but something else could cover it. Using the analogy of Photoshop layers, I don't see why you could not add a layer above the shadow layer. However, perhaps, Mythic reality is such that the shadow layer is always the top layer. Even then, you should be able to blend a lighter layer beneath the shadows which cancel out the visual effect of the shadow.

However, because he actually wants to manipulate the shadows and not just give the appearance of doing so, I feel that Imaginem is not the answer for him. Likewise Ignem doesn't really feel quite right either. Because that is effectively just creating/manipulating lights to illuminate otherwise shadowed areas. It doesn't really seem to actually deal with shadow in a metaphysical sense.

In fact, I would be rather tempted to look at Perdo Corpus effects (PeCo 40, destroy a property of a person such as their weight or solidity). "Casting a shadow" seems to be a property that could potentially be targeted. Or alternatively, "having a soul" is a property that might be targetable, and if souls cast shadows, then absence of soul would result in absence of shadow. It might break the Hermetic Limit of the Soul, although that is usually construed as a problem with creating rather than destorying souls (which need not be a problem for a non-magus in any case).

I´ll say it very simple, make it work as is most suitable for how you want it to work, and completely ignore RAW.

Allow Shadows to work as Arcane Connections(probably needs some limit, maybe by using a size and/or distance limit or something). This would allow travel, attacks, spying, almost anything(so beware of not using any limits!).

Let Shadows work as a medium, ie if your shadow stretches from you to an enemy, if you strike with a sword into the shadow at your feet, you can hit the enemy by letting the sword tip come out of the shadow underneath or behind the enemy. It could also allow you to hide inside a shadow under your control. If you can still move the shadow while you´re inside it, it´s one of the ultimate stealth tools.

And of course, let Shadows work as a tool, ie a shadow can be used as an extra "limb", or if you "capture" someone in your shadow, they could for example be forced to mimic your movements...

Alternatively you can use his shadow related magic as his wizard's sigil and/or with the idea: your antagonist has researched the material bonus linked to shadows and created potent spells.... with the Major focus: Shadows

Shadow strike: PeIg cold effect with shadows striking him and target is freezing to death.
Chaining the shadow: ReCo nailing the shadow immobilizes the subject
Shadow's step: ReCo merging to the shadows and sidestepping as per ReCo guidelines
Shadow spies: Re(In)Me sending a spirit to spy on someone and seeing / hearing what the spirit would see&hear
Stake the Shadow: PeCo drive through a stake/sword through a person's shadow and you cause wounds on the owner

Sight & Hear Range would remain the same for these potent spells, for Touch range to work though a shadow might(would) need a minor breakthrough.

I also agree on the PeCo for destroying one's shadow idea, it is really fitting to the PeCo 40 category, add Re requisite or use it it simple as ReCo ritual and you can bottle someone's shadow as a permanent arcane connection, especially with 'Untill' duration.

I quite like the idea and most probably will include your antagonist too, just to frighten my group a little.

Shadow is Minor Focus, since it's very related to darkness and it is one minor too.
Again, only on directly Ignem spells related to the Shadow herself- Rego to move her, Perdo to create one, Creo to make dissapear, Muto to change something, Intellego to feel her... etc.

This was also my thought, but after rechecking all Ignem guidelines, I have only found: Light, Heat, Fire and absence of Heat (Cold) as elements you can manipulate with Ignem.
All would be clear and permissive, as soon as you can manipulate absence of Light, but it is not there. (I quite miss the possibility to tell you the truth.)

Maga cannot create darkness but only destroy light. End result is the same, you would use for both PeIg.
For creating shadows I would look at the PeTe guidelines as filling a PeTe 'created' pit with earth cannot be filled during the spell's duration. Using the same concept destroying light in a special format like a human shape for the spell duration you have create a shadow. You might add a couple of magnitudes (as per the imaginem guidelines) to move the light-destroying-effect around.

Unfortunately by following RAW, Magi cannot manipulate shadows, only light destroying effects.

On Medieval thought i don't see any problem. On Hermetic Magic nor. Shadow beings on Merinita Chapter, they are described like Imaginem but only to evade problems with Ignem
Darkness is one Minor Focus from Magi of Hermes page 127, Tolides has it.
Yes you can create and control it, on the same way that you can control things. Over this sense, you couldn't control oil or other things with Aquam, because their ar not water sometimes. Since the shadows are more complex that simple darkeness, i can admit that in fact you can make shadows like darkness with complexity. On that sense, the dryness is make with Perdo Aquam for example.


There's a group of Merinita obsessed with Plato's cave allegory in HoH:Mystery Cults that might do exactly what you want. Basically they use Animae Magic to transform a person's shadow into a faerie. So in a sense, it is stealing their soul because the faerie it becomes certainly has aspects of the person whose shadow it was. It wouldn't be too hard to make your antagonist corrupted by the infernal, maybe with Chthonic Magic or at least Tainted Spells, so that the faeries created might be demons instead. It sounds like a great enemy you're spinning up, I would love to hear how it goes!